“Inside the gardener is the spirit of the garden outside.”

Michael P. Garofalo

I live in a suburb of Kansas City and, like many of you,I have a diligent Home Owner”s Association. I applaud their efforts to keep my neighborhood a delight to live in but regret the monotony that many of the rules create. We allow only certain exterior colors, types of fencing and roofing materials. At one time the board tried to forbid basketball goals as unsightly. That was “way over the top” for me and fortunately was not approved.

However in our gardens, diversity reigns. Depending on our personalities, we have created formal, informal and just plain eclectic gardens. You can tell lots about each of us from the welcome we extend at the entrance to these special spots.

Often it is as simple as the sign on the gate

Or a pot in which the plantings change with the season. In this shallow container, the owner will soon be placing a fall display of dried bittersweet and evergreens.

My neighbor next door loves bright colors and pansies welcome us in the spring. In the summer she replaces these with herbs that are resistant to our Kansas Heat. Small containers like this are difficult to keep up because they need a lot of water. I tend to use large fiberglass pots by my front door. They are lightweight and are left out in our freezing winter weather. The terra-cotta pot above is brought in.  I also like to use potting soils with additives that hold more water. I find I can leave my pots for a week even in the hottest weather.

This creative neighbor lives in my second neighborhood in Carmel, Ca. Although they too have strict rules, they allow a little more creativity in front and side gardens. This garden welcomes its visitors all the way down the driveway that leads to the front door at the bottom of a hill.

Let the exterior of your garden “live a little” and express a bit a who you are.

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  1. Sandy says:

    Linda, I am excited to find your blog!
    I’m looking forward to seeing your beautiful pictures of gardens and flowers, and learning about gardening from a Master Gardener, too.

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